Open Style Lab Plans Double Take Fashion Show for SMA Community – WWD

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Open Style Lab Plans Double Take Fashion Show for SMA Community – WWD

Double Take is a runway show that highlights the need for adaptive fashion design. Open Style Lab, a nonprofit organization, and the spinal muscular atrophy community have teamed up to create it. The show will be held at 10 a.m. on February 8th at 608 Fifth Avenue in New York.

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SMA is a progressive neuromuscular disorder that can impair walking, dexterity, and overall strength. This makes it difficult to wear certain fasteners and cuts, weights, and clothing.

Double Take is the very first fashion show that involves the entire SMA community from conception to the final runway walk, leading up to New York Fashion Week. It is dedicated to all people with disabilities.

The show looks to enable people with disabilities to occupy a space that’s often shut off to them, and the SMA community is inviting the world to do a “double-take,”They are not disabled because of their individuality and style.

Prior to the show, Open Style Lab adaptive fashion design fellows, some of whom have disabilities themselves, worked with SMA community members to create and modify garments, according to each runway participant’s personal style and needs. Hidden magnetic closures allow garments to look like buttons without having to be fastened. There are also stretch knit panels to replace zippers, flexible sleeves that allow for easier wheelchair operation, as well as other adaptations.

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Support for Double Take was provided by biotechnology company Genetech’s SMA My Way program, which is an initiative that aims to support people impacted by SMA by sharing their experiences and building connections within the community. Genetech, which develops, manufactures and markets medicines to treat patients with life-threatening or serious medical conditions, is part of the Roche Group. It is located in South San Francisco, California.

“Thanks to the support of Genetech, Double Take gave me the opportunity to explore forward-thinking fashion designs that are inclusive of people of all abilities. I collaborated with several people living with spinal muscular atrophy to co-create accessible garments that fit both their personalities and their individual needs, including Shane Burcaw, who has SMA and uses a power wheelchair. To adapt a purple velvet suit for Shane, I added an invisible zipper down the back of the jacket, for easier dressing, and stretch panels at the elbows to accommodate bending. Matching custom-made velvet pants had two layers — a comfortable L-shaped base and an interchangeable cover that goes on top,”Andrea Saleh is Open Style Lab 2022 Fellow for Double Take,

“For a person with spinal muscular atrophy, who is sitting all the time, suit jackets can be difficult to put on and frumpy, very unsexy. We ended up getting a suit custom-tailored for our wedding, and it looked amazing, but it was still tough to get on. For the Double Take project, which was sponsored by Genetech, we worked with adaptive fashion designers to create a suit that not only looked great but was also comfortable and much easier to wear. Ultimately, Double Take is about celebrating differences, not trying to erase them. Fashion allows you to do that — to embrace the things that make you different,”Shane Burcaw and Hannah Burcaw will model on the runway together, according to Burcaw.

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